AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes the signing of Matt Ritchie from Swindon Town is another statement of intent from the Cherries.
On Wednesday afternoon it was reported that the Cherries had rekindled their interest in the 23 year old. The Cherries have had numerous bids rejected by Paulo Di Canio’s side in the past, but with Swindon’s current financial problems and the club in the midst of a takeover, the latest bid was accepted.
The fee reportedly in the region of £500,000 was described as stupidly cheap by Vital Swindon editor STFC_Gazza.
By the evening, Ritchie had posed for photos with Eddie Howe and signed a three and a half year contract at Dean Court, with the Cherries beating Championship clubs Crystal Palace, Charlton, Bolton and Bristol City to his signing.
He becomes AFC Bournemouth’s fourth signing of the January transfer window after Howe also completed deals for Brett Pitman, Ryan Allsop and Ryan Fraser.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
“Matt is a talented player and very good technically. He did really well during a loan spell at Dagenham and ended up getting a move to Swindon. From there, he has really flourished and done ever so well. He is regarded as one of the best players in League One and his signing is a real coup for the club. It is also another statement of intent.
“He is a goalscorer and has scored nine times this season. He is also a goal creator and a set-piece specialist. He can play a number of positions, including all across midfield, and can also cover at left-back in an emergency, which is another string to his bow and something we need.
“For various reasons, his age is very important to us and he will only get better with us. His attitude is probably his stand-out quality. He wants to do well, he is very conscientious and keen to learn and improve. Those are all the hallmarks we look for in a player.”
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